Are you ready?

For the “big one?” The big earthquake, the epic hurricane, the flu pandemic?

PD-156 Hurricane Katrina

A recent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) survey found that nearly 60% of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster and only 39% have developed an emergency plan. This despite astudy by Environment America that claims 80% of Americans live in counties that have suffered a weather-related disaster since 2007.

And what about something smaller – like a three day ice storm or a twelve hour traffic jam – are you ready for that?


A couple months ago we lost power during a wind storm. My son described our two hours of life without the internet as “living like cavemen.” Clearly his concept of a disaster is limited.

September is National Preparedness Month, and once again we are hearing about the importance of creating an Emergency Kit and Plan. I’ve written about this before, even hosted a neighborhood readiness meeting; but truth be told, I’m as woefully underprepared as most.

So here’s my thought. What if we created our Emergency Kits together? I’ll discuss one type of kit every week this month, with easy step-by-step instructions, and by the end of the month we’ll all be ready.



We spend about 30% of our time in bed, so there’s a good chance of encountering an emergency while sleeping. It might be a benign power outage, but could be a fire, earthquake, or tree falling through your roof.

Plan for broken glass and outdoor conditions.

This is what you will need for a very simple Under Bed Kit:

  • Box, Bin, or nearby drawer
  • Shoes
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Gloves
  • Cloths (for the nude sleepers)
  • Bonus items (hardhat, escape ladder)
  • Leash (if you have a pet)
  • Exit (ID two exits from each bedroom)
  • Meeting place (an outside location)
  • Pets (consider them into your plan)

Here’s a picture of one of our kits:


Here’s a picture of one of our kits:

Under Bed Kit

It was so easy!

I found most of this stuff lying around the house.

 It took me less than 30 minutes to prepare four of them.


Come back next week and we’ll build THE CAR KIT.

 The next one will be the STAY AT HOME KIT.

And finally, we will build the very important IDENTITY KIT.

By the way, the following websites have loads of information about disaster preparedness:

The American Red Cross

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (a part of FEMA)

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